Each of us is creative. Each of us has something of beauty to share with the world. That something may or may not be traditionally artistic–we may paint or sing, or we may instead bring a new dimension to mothering or cooking or project management. Each of us longs to contribute something inspirational to others. So what stops us? Fear, self-doubt, lack of recognition of our talents, or maybe we’re just too busy. We’re so caught up in the petty details of what needs to be done next, that we become oblivious to the calls of the external world, asking for our greatness.
How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too frightened.
–Hafiz (14th century poet)
This “encouragement of light” is the connection we feel when we are quiet. A connection with God, with source, with each other, with the universe. It’s the reminder that we are at once a tiny speck amongst millions of others and a powerful force capable of changing the world. It’s this sense of connection that allows us to give up egotistical concerns about the perfection of our petals or the depth of our color and simply open our hearts.
As an acupuncturist, I feel that one of my most important tasks is to try to provide the space in which people can quiet their minds enough to feel their own essential wholeness. People often say, “I’m not reacting to little things the way I used to,” or “I just feel at peace after I leave here.” From such peace, whole worlds can be created. From such peace, the obstacles to self-expression can be lifted.
In Chinese Medicine, we speak about restoring the natural “flow of qi.” When “qi” or energy becomes blocked, things hurt, we get frustrated and we often can’t see past the physical or emotional place we are in now. Getting the qi moving allows us to glimpse into that other world in which anything is possible. The realization that just a few stainless steel needles can provide some relief from suffering illustrates the miraculous capability we have to heal ourselves in an instant.
It’s not that acupuncture, per se, helps you lose the weight, become pregnant or paint a more satisfying picture. But receiving acupuncture can be one way to find that still point from which the solution can emerge. The more you can experience that profound peace, that sense that all is right with the world (or even better, that all is right with you), the less tolerant you become of the things in your life that leave you feeling not right. Whether it’s an unhealthy relationship, an addiction or job stress, the more you connect with the healthy part of yourself, the less willing you are to put up with these drains on your energy. As people progress with acupuncture treatment, they find themselves making small changes (or sometimes big ones) in their lifestyle that allow them to pursue interests they forgotten about. They begin to imagine themselves in situations they had always considered out of reach. They begin to blossom.